Projecting an image
New Labour, the EU and the wider world
in New Labour and the European Union
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This chapter studies Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's projection of their self-images onto their discourses about the British in Europe in two areas. In their ideas about European 'leadership'; and New Labour's positioning of Britain as a 'bridge' between the US and the European Union (EU). Blair managed to lever the prospect of British leadership into each and every statement or speech he made on the subject of Britain in Europe. In stressing the leadership angle of its European policy New Labour was helping appease a sceptical domestic audience. New Labour's discourses on leadership were performatively constituted to shift the terms of the political landscape in Britain. New Labour never saw Britain's relations with the EU as locked in a competitive game with Britain's relations with the US. In fact, New Labour looked more to Conservative rather than Labour figures for its foreign policy ideas.

New Labour and the European Union

Blair and Brown’s logic of history

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